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Federer targets Wimbledon; Won't play on clay except French Open

Roger Federer has set his sights on claiming an eighth Wimbledon title this summer after the latest chapter of his remarkable 2017 ended with him winning the Miami Open.

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Federer defeats Nadal to win 3rd Miami crown

Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open.

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Federer beats Wawrinka for 5th Indian Wells title

The incredible comeback continues. Roger Federer won a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open crown as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Swiss final at Indian Wells.

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Federer hopes to play '2 to 3 more years'

Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another two to three years and that his "mindset is for the long term" in assessing his tennis future.

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Federer and Nadal to team up in Laver Cup

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.

Roger Federer eases to victory at US Open

Five-time US Open Champion Roger Federer breezed into the US Open third round on Thursday at Flushing Meadows.

Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who swept the New York hardcourt crowns from 2004-2008, dispatched Argentina's 48th-ranked Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in 95 minutes, firing six aces, 37 winners and converted seven of his 13 break points opportunitie.

"I feel at home here, after everything that has happened," said Federer, in an on-court interview. "I am happy with my performance today. I am results-orientated now. I don’t mind how I play, as long as I win."

"It's one of those matches I expect myself to win if possible in straight sets, and gain confidence in the process," said Federer. "All those things happened, so I'm pleased about it."

Federer is in the same quarter as Rafael Nadal, and was asked about a potential match-up against the in-form Spaniard.

"I am well aware of the draw. But, at the moment, I am clearly focusing on round by round and it would be a big mistake if I was thinking too much about Rafa," Federer said.

"I would love a match with Rafa but, for that to happen, I have to keep playing well and keep winning."

Federer will next play either 26th-seeded American Sam Querrey or Adrian Mannarino of France.

Date: 29th August 2013, Source: ESPN

Roger Federer's love shines bright

Federer attested following his first round win at the US Open that his passion for the game is as strong as ever, made even more evident by the challenges he’s encountered on court in recent months.

“Clearly when you win everything, it's fun,” he said. “That doesn't necessarily mean you love the game more. You just like winning, being on the front page, lifting trophies, doing comfortable press conferences. It's nice.

“But that doesn't mean you really actually love it, love it. That maybe shines through maybe more in times when you don't play that well. For me, I knew it, winning or losing, practice court or match court, that I love it.”

Federer briefly questioned that passion four years ago with the birth of his twin daughters, but shared that his doubts were unfounded.

“Clearly when I had my two girls, I also wasn't sure right off the bat how it was going to be after that,” he said. “Was I going to be able to play the same schedule? Was my love for the game as big? Were we going to be able to cope with the whole thing, having twins or not?

“I managed it totally fine. They were at the court today. I'm so happy to see them before and after the match. I'm in a good spot right now. I want to enjoy it as long as it lasts.”

Federer elaborated on the life experiences and lessons Charlene Riva and Myla Rose have gained through travelling with him on the ATP World Tour.

“I think they're learning as we go along automatically, just getting to meet so many different people, cities and countries and languages, places and travels. I think just by travelling by itself, it's unbelievable how much you learn. Being more independent. I'm still learning still today, I feel, even though I know my way pretty much around, what works, what doesn't work.”

Date: 28th August 2013, Source: ATP

Federer notches commanding first-round win at US Open

Roger Federer opened his bid for a sixth US Open crown with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Grega Zemlja in New York. It was his 65th win at Flushing Meadows.

"I felt great. It's great to be back in New York, there's no doubt about it. Day session or night session it doesn't really matter when you play on Arthur Ashe Court," Federer said in a courtside interview.

Federer had 12 aces, 35 winners, won 20 of 21 points at the net and committed just 16 unforced errors.

"I decided also to play aggressive. By doing that, didn't have many rallies," said Federer. "It was more of a serving contest, so there wasn't much rhythm out there, but I was happy the way I played overall. It's a first round after all. There was a bit of a breeze. Should have played at night. Played during the day. Overall I'm pleased to be in the next round."

The Swiss dominated proceedings, suffering just one mishap when he dropped serve in the eighth game of the third set. He quickly regrouped and broke Zemlja again in the 11th game before serving out victory. Federer is looking to reclaim the US Open title he won five consecutive times between 2004-08. It would be his 18th Grand Slam championship victory.

"You're going to have sonme hiccups like I had today. It was a minor one," Federer said. "I might have had more confidence if I had closed it out without that. This way I had to fight a bit more. Who knows? Maybe that gives me confidence too."

Federer wrapped up the first set in little over 25 minutes on Arthur Ashe, but was tested by the Slovenian Zemlja in the opening exchanges.

In fact it was not until the eighth game of that Federer found the all-important breakthrough; after saving his own serve with a stinging forehand winner, the Swiss capitalised on the momentum and forced Zemlja into a mistake.

After sealing the break of serve with a powerful forehand, Federer whistled through his game with ease to take the opening set.

The early pressure told, as Federer looked just as comfortable in the second. Impressive footwork saw the world No. 7 sail into a two-nil lead, completing the early break of serve with ease.

Zemlja had no reply as Federer completed the double-break before moving into a two set lead with another routine service game.

The pressure of playing the five-time Flushing Meadows champion looked to have taken its toll after two sets, but to his credit Zemlja did not completely crumble.

There were signs of a reaction; but two errors cost Zemlja a chance of a break when Federer looked beaten on his own serve midway through the final set.

Another error this time proved more costly; Zemlja sent a backhand volley into the net, gifting Federer the break for 4-3. However, concentration from the 17-time grand slam champion began to wane and he immediately let his opponent back in to level the scores.

Federer suddenly kicked back into gear, forcing his tenth break point as Zemlja hit long with his forehand. A sublime forehand of his own sealed the break for Federer, who wasted no time in serving out for the match.
Federer goes on to face Argentine Carlos Berlocq, who battled past Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2. Federer won their one previous meeting, last year on clay in Rome. He said he knew Berlocq's game well, having trained with him in Rome and Madrid. "He's got good intensity, forehand and backhand," he said. "Can play on the baseline. He's actually really improved a lot on the slower hard courts. This is maybe a tiny bit faster. If we play at night, I think it might suit him a little better."

Date: 27th August 2013, Source: ATP and ESPN

Roger Federer 'is vulnerable' at U.S. Open, says Nick Bollettieri

Roger Federer is the greatest player in the modern tennis era, perhaps even of all time, but is Roger Federer's stellar career fading to twilight?

The 17-time grand slam champion is "in a very vulnerable state" ahead of his opening match at the U.S. Open, according to top coach Nick Bollettieri.

Federer regained the world No. 1 ranking with last year's record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title, but this season he has struggled with both his game and his fitness, and is seeded seventh for the season's closing grand slam in New York.

"Roger Federer is great for the game. He's fantastic on court and fantastic off court. He's well respected, and he respects all the opponents that he plays," Bollettieri told CNN.

"Roger is in a very vulnerable state. He's in a vulnerable position because he's moved down to No. 7 now. Remember Pete Sampras went through a tough period. Fortunately for Pete he won a big one before he left the tour.

"My Andre Agassi went from No. 1 to No. 142 in the world, and he left on a pretty good note. What we don't want to remember is Roger Federer leaving on a low note.

"He's been fantastic, he moves beautifully, he does everything with ease. This is a big tournament for Roger Federer."

"However, I believe that the U.S. Open and the Australian Open (in January) is going to tell the story."

Federer is coached by Paul Annacone, a former student of Bollettieri who also worked with Sampras for several years.

"I believe right now Roger cannot win just standing on the baseline. I believe he has to come in," Bollettieri said.

Bollettieri is concerned that an underwhelming end to his career could undo the Federer legacy.

"It would be a shame if people forgot who he was," he said. "Look at what he brought to the game. He brought class. He lived a beautiful private life.

"He's quiet. He's always respectful of the sport. He's respectful of his opponents. You don't find too many people who represent life, whether it be business or sports, like this guy.

"Roger has been an ambassador on the court, and an ambassador off the court. How can you be much better than Roger Federer? He's just a credit to the tour. He's a credit to his foundation. So it'll be awful tough to replace Roger Federer."

"The sport is very lucky to have had a Roger Federer."

Date: 27th August 2013, Source: CNN

Rejuvenated Federer eager for US Open test

A five-time champion at the US Open, Roger Federer is anticipating a resurgent performance at the year’s final major. Coming off a strong summer hard court debut in Cincinnati, which saw him push rival Rafael Nadal to the brink in the quarter-finals, Federer is eager to re-energise his season.

“Clearly when I come here I don't just look at trying to make quarters,” Federer said. “I'm here trying to win the tournament, but it starts at the very beginning and that is Monday I'm playing, I heard, so that's really where the focus is right now.”

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will be seeking just his second tour-level title of the year, having won in Halle, and first on hard courts since claiming his fifth Cincinnati title exactly a year ago. Federer holds the most hard court titles in the Open Era, having amassed 52 in his career.

The Swiss, who will tie Wayne Ferreira for the most consecutive Grand Slams played (56), is not fazed by his recent struggles. “It's important that I concentrate on my game and that the passion is there, that I work the right way, that I'm prepared, and then that I feel like I can win a tournament,” Federer said. “I clearly want to move up from here. I only have the quarters to defend, so I hope I can add some points to the rankings.”

Federer is also just one match win at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from tying John McEnroe for eighth place on the all-time list. He added that he actually feels better now, physically, than he did earlier in his career, despite his recent back ailment. “When I was younger I had incredible muscle pain, like I could hardly get out of bed or all of a sudden the back was really bothering me for a day or two. Then all of a sudden it disappeared the way it came, just really quick…I think it's actually more comfortable today with the body than it has been in the past, to be honest.”

Federer will open his US Open campaign against Slovenian World No. 61 Grega Zemlja on Monday, under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. He is 2-0 against Zemlja, including a 6-3, 6-1 victory in Rotterdam earlier this year. Federer could potentially face 11th seed Kei Nishikori in the Round of 16 and is on a collision course for a rematch with Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Date: 25th August 2013, Source: ATP

Roger Federer on the cusp of more tennis history at 2013 US Open with longevity streak

Roger Federer may head into the US Open with his lowest ranking since 2002 at No. 7, but the 17-time major singles champion is once again on the cusp of making more tennis history.

Just by stepping onto the court for his first-round match against Grega Zemlja of Slovenia at the 2013 US Open, the 32-year-old Federer will add another record to his incredible tennis resume. The 2013 US Open will mark Federer’s 56th consecutive appearance in a major tournament, equaling the record men’s mark set by Wayne Ferreira, who played 56 major titles from the 1991 Australian Open to 2004 US Open.

“Still here,” is what Federer said to reporters earlier this year in Australia when asked to discuss approaching Ferreira’s record, bringing up that he had actually ball-boyed for Ferreira, played doubles with him, but neglecting to bring up that he lost to the South Africa two of the three times they played on the ATP Tour.

“Longevity has always been something that’s been important to me,” said Federer in January. “I’ve planned the season accordingly this year again, that I will not miss the majors because of injury. But then again sometimes you get hit with an unlucky injury just shortly before a Slam. There’s obviously nothing you can do about it. The best‑of‑five, the rule in tennis, it takes to get deep in a tournament, there’s no easy ways. I’m excited that I’ve played so many in a row and I hope I can keep the streak alive and see where it stops. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reporters informed Federer that Ferreira was surprised that his record was so soon to be broken and asked Federer for his reaction.

“Yeah, I am, too,” he said. “It’s not something you really plan. You play when you’re ready. If you’re not, you’re not. When I was coming along, guys would not go to Australia. Like Carlos Moya wouldn’t play Wimbledon because he just thought, I’d rather take that time to get off and get ready for some more clay after Wimbledon. It was normal. I came through that period of times a well. But I felt my game suited all the service surfaces, so I thought, Might as well go to all the different tournaments. Next thing you know, we’re here talking about it.  It wasn’t something that was planned in any way.”

Ferreira retired shortly after playing his 56th straight major at the 2004 US Open, just days before his 33rd birthday.

“I feel good in the fact that I’ve been healthy through all of them,” said Ferreira in 2004 to reporters of his 56 straight majors. “I’ve had some good runs at it.  My career has been long. I think maybe I would have changed it up a bit and played a little bit less and been more ready for the Grand Slams. I did come in here for a few of them tired and not prepared well enough for them. But, you know, I’ve competed well. I’ve always been in good shape and given my best here. I think, you know, I’ve had some really good chances to win the whole thing, and it hasn’t worked out. But I came in here thinking - every time I came in here thinking I could win the tournament.”

Date: 23rd August 2013, Source: World Tennis Magazine

Federer and Nadal set for blockbuster US Open quarter-final clash

Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner who is a winner of five consecutive US Open titles (2004 - 08) and a finalist in 2009, was drawn into the same quarter as second seed Nadal, a 12-time major winner who completed a career Slam with his 2010 US Open title.

Federer and Nadal would meet for the 32nd time and it would be their earliest ever meeting at a Grand Slam championship.

The top-ranked potential semi-final rivals for either Swiss star Federer or Spaniard Nadal would be Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer or French eighth seed Richard Gasquet.

Federer would have some work in the early rounds as well.

The Basel native begins his campaign against Grega Zemlja. Santiago Giraldo or Argentina's Carlos Berlocq, awaiting in round two. The first seed he could meet would be No. 26 Sam Querrey in the third round. In the fourth round he would likely face 11th seeded Kei Nishikori, Bernard Tomic or Tommy Robredo.

Main draw play begins on Monday, 26 August in New York.

Date: 22nd August 2013

Balancing family with tennis makes Federer shine

Since Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka, had their twin daughters four years ago, the girls have become fixtures on the tennis circuit, traveling with Federer from tournament to tournament.

But their immersion in the tennis world hasn't made Myla Rose and Charlene Riva eager to pick up tennis rackets. Federer says they haven't shown any interest in following in the footsteps of their famous dad (or mom, who was also a professional tennis player).

''They're not crazy about it. Either you like doing that or you don't. And they're in that part which they don't,'' Federer said in a recent interview. ''They'd rather draw, listen to music, and dance, swim and do those kinds of things, which I'm really quite happy about. As long as they're active and they do sports, which I think is good for them, then I'm all for it. I'm not pushing them in any way. But if they do it, I'm happy to help them out.''

Federer would be the ideal helper if that happens. He is the all-time Grand Slam champion with 17 titles under his belt.

Still, he hasn't won a major title since Wimbledon in 2012, and at the U.S. Open, scheduled to start in the New York borough of Queens on Monday, he's seeded seventh - the first time he's been outside the top three at a Grand Slam tournament since 2003.

His goal, though, hasn't changed: ''Win the U.S. Open.''

''It's fun chasing something you want to win again like I did in 2008,'' Federer said.

"My wife has been incredibly supportive throughout and she’s always the backbone. It’s been great with her, and the family is here too. We’re all very happy to be back in New York and enjoying our time, not just on the court, but clearly also away from it. But I am very focused on making sure I do well on the tennis court first. I’ve had enough vacation this year, I need to make sure I practise and get back to the old form again."

With his girls with him, though, he's not as singularly focused as he used to be.

''Tennis still remains a big priority in my life, like it used to, it's just that I've adjusted to a new situation,'' he said.

Federer's face shows the contentment of family life - just the mention of his wife and children and his face beams with joy. "I didn't have kids to have a reality check. I had kids because I love my wife and we wanted to start a family,'' Federer said. ''It's been challenging, but you learn more about yourself.''

Federer says that throughout his career, he has always tried to balance his time with ''things other than tennis.'' But instead of an active nightlife, the activities have gotten more family oriented.

''Before having the girls, I used to be more flexible. ... I could come and go. All I needed was my wallet and off I went. Bars, clubs, restaurants,'' he said. ''Now we're visiting the cities from a different angle. Instead of going to bars and clubs, we go more to the park or the zoo and other attractions.''

He grinned while talking about a recent outing with the girls in New York City.

''I went to the Guggenheim museum with the kids. 'Let's go to the Guggenheim. Let's go walk around and see some pictures and see what they say.' We had a good time,'' he said smiling.

''They're great travelers and we have a great time. I guess looking back, these will be the years that I remember the most.''

Date: 22nd August 2013, Source: AP

Federer: "I'm happy with my progress along the way"

After his best performance against Rafael Nadal since their four-set battle at the 2012 Australian Open, Roger Federer said that he was pleased with his performance and his aggressive approach despite his 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 loss to his great rival.

Federer took the battle to Nadal from the outset and his backhand was significantly more effective against the lefty than in their past three meetings, in which the Swiss won an average of just six games a match. His decision to come over his backhand return on Nadal’s serve rather than slice was a signature tactic of the match. And his dazzling crosscourt backhand winner (play Hot Shot video below) to take the first set was one of the best he’s ever hit against Nadal.



“I’m not totally unhappy about the match. I could have played a bit better, but I think I was playing well and  tactics were working. Of course, I always have to adjust to faster courts, slower courts when I play Rafa. Plus it is him; it's the type of game I don't see very often…

Federer captured the first set 7-5, pouncing on a late break point at 5-5 30/40. Nadal, however, battled back with a late break of his own, converting on his second set point with a forehand down-the-line.

Federer had executed a highly aggressive game plan early on, which included topping many backhand returns rather than engaging his customary slice, and attacking the net with authority. Nadal turned the tables late in the second set, anticipating his intentions and employing a highly efficient brand of tennis from the baseline. Federer’s unforced error count would rise to 44 as Nadal continued to apply pressure on his serve with deep angled returns with significant pace.

Nadal took an immediate lead in the third set, breaking for 2-0 and holding serve from there to the finish line. In a dramatic final game, Federer rallied from 0/40 and eventually saved four match points before Nadal rifled a forehand down the line to end the match. The Hawkeye replay, shown only on television, revealed that his shot had missed by the narrowest of margins, but only after he had shaken hands with Federer, who did not challenge.

“I'm happy with my progress along the way. Could have won tonight. Should have won tonight, who knows? But at the end, I think Rafa's confidence and the way he's playing at the moment got him through. So for me, I think it was a good step in the right direction.”

The 32-year-old winner of 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and six Barclays ATP World Tour Finals would not be drawn into second guessing his decision to not challenge Nadal’s forehand on match point, which Hawkeye on television showed was out. “At this point it doesn't matter. I'm sitting here,” he said.

Federer, who this week shelved a larger prototype used in Hamburg and Gstaad for his traditional 90 inch head, said that he’s looking ahead to the US Open with a positive approach.

“My mind's already totally geared into what I'm going to do tomorrow, next day, and the following day, and looking ahead at the US Open.  So I'm excited about the next sort of 10 days.”

Federer has won five Western and Southern Opens during his career including last year.

Date: 17th August 2013, Source: ATP

Federer rallies to beat Haas, awaits Nadal - Dimitrov winner

Defending champion Roger Federer did his part to set up a potential quarter-final showdown with Rafael Nadal, as he came back to defeat German Tommy Haas 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday afternoon at the Western & Southern Open. Nadal, last week Coupe Rogers champion, plays Grigor Dimitrov in the evening session.

It appeared that Federer wasn't long for the tournament after a stunningly bad start against Haas. The 35-year-old Haas needed only 31 minutes to win the first set and was up 4-2 in the second before Federer started to approach the net, hitting shots with confidence and taking control.

''You know, being down 6-1, 3-1, you don't feel like Superman out there,'' Federer said. ''You feel a bit slower, you feel a bit weaker, you feel a bit softer, whatever it is. I was trying to push myself. But at the end, as the match wore on, I felt better.

''That's always good news.''

Against Haas, Federer forced a third set after rallying from a break down in the second. He went up the decisive break, 5-3, and served out the victory after one hour and 52 minutes.

"I think I had too many of those small hiccups that kept on adding up, because overall I wasn't playing terrible. I was just missing by a margin or putting myself in a tough spot," said Federer. "Then on top of that, Tommy took advantage of it, played well when he had to... I was just hanging on, and I'm happy I did because it paid off. At the end, I'm very happy I was able to turn a match around like this.

Federer skipped Montreal last week to get ready for Cincinnati, hoping a good showing this week would get him ready for the U.S. Open.

''Every match gives me more info to tell me if I'm on the right path or not,'' he said. ''But I'm a strong believer that I am on the right path right now, and I just need to make sure that mentally I stay cool about it.

"Those are the matches I knew just kind of what I need right now," he added. "Every minute more in a match court is a good thing right now. It gives me a lot of opportunity in the next match to do better."

This 32-year-old Swiss is chasing an unprecedented sixth Cincinnati title this week.

"I saw a little bit of the Rafael Nadal match at Wimbledon, but the rest of the year for him has been unbelievable, how he came back and how successful he's played, almost always achieving finals really," said Federer. "So it's a great season for him. He's coming into this tournament clearly very confident.

"I'll be excited to see how he plays tonight. Then if I play him tomorrow, it's clearly going to be a difficult match because he comes in with a lot of confidence again."

Date: 15th August 2013, Source: ATP and AP

Roger Federer's US Open 2013 Outfit







Roger Federer's US Open 2013 Nike Outfit.

Date: 14th August 2013

Federer opens Cincinnati defence and back to old racquet

Defending champion Roger Federer opened his bid for a record sixth Cincinnati title with a 6-3, 7-6(7) win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday night at the Western & Southern Open.

"I think it was a match where I had to sort of just fight to come through and hope get over the finish line sort of thing," he said. "I was playing really well at times, and then sometimes it was maybe a bit up and down. But assessing the performance overall, I'm very happy. It's good to be back and playing pain free. My mind's good. I was in a good place while I was playing, so it felt nice to win at the end."

Federer raced through the opening set in 32 minutes. He double-faulted to give Kohlschreiber a break at 4-2 in the second set, but got back on serve in the next game. After saving a set point for Kohlschreiber at 7-6 in the tie-break, Federer capitalised on his second match point opportunity to improve to a 7-0 mark against the German.

Struggling with a sore back, Federer did not play last week's event in Montreal and has not tested himself on the North American hardcourt since Indian Wells in March.

But the former-world number one signaled that he is ready to challenge for an unprecedented sixth Cincinnati title and then perhaps a sixth U.S. Open to add to his grand slam collection.

"It was important to play a clean match," Federer told reporters. "I had a few tough weeks, months behind me, I was happy to play a clean match.

"I told myself I was not going to come back until I felt no pain in my back. Eventually I started to work out very hard.

"It is a tournament I have always played in lead up to the U.S. Open, I like it here. I love the calmness of this place."

After trying out a larger racquet in Hamburg and Gstaad, Federer returned to his Wilson Pro Staff 90 racquet and said he'd be playing with it through the US Open.

"I'm going to do more racquet testing when I have, again, some more time after the US Open," he said. "I was playing for a month with the black one, but it's a prototype. At the end, I just felt like, you know what, right now I feel like I need to simplify everything and just play with what I know best."

Last year, Federer  became the first player in the Open Era to win the Western & Southern Open title five times. He has a 31-7 tournament record, and will play the winner between 11th-seeded German Tommy Haas and Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the third round.

Date: 14th August 2013, Source: ATP and Reuters

Catching up with Roger Federer in Cincinnati

Five-time Western & Southern Open champion Roger Federer held his pre-tournament press conference today at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. He talked about his health, his new racquet, and his enjoyment of this setting. Here are the highlights:

How would you sum up the last month?

RF: Yeah, not great, to be honest. I was ready to get over the Wimbledon loss as quick as I could, which I did. I took a short break and then started practicing extremely hard and things were great. I tested racquets and was ready to go to Hamburg and Gstaad and really play tournaments I really enjoy playing, but I couldn’t enjoy them in the end because I just had too many problems with my back and my body. I still ended up playing because it came gradually through the tournament at Hamburg. Midway through and all the way until Gstaad basically…I still was playing OK. It wasn’t like I couldn’t play at all. So that was the frustrating part, that I couldn’t actually play proper tennis, get into the right routines, play the right shots at the right time, because you start compromising a bit. So for me it was a disappointing last sort of two weeks there, which clearly I lost some time. But I was very motivated to come to Hamburg and Gstaad right after Wimbledon, so that was another sort of setback I had to get over as well. And then pulling out of Montreal wasn’t something I really wanted to do but it then gave me more time to work hard and come here really well-prepared. That sort of tougher moments I had to get over – the Wimbledon loss and then at Hamburg and Gstaad, just really not feeling well in moments. But now I’m fit again and I’m mentally motivated, which is very important at this part of the year right now.

Where are you racquet-wise here – are you going back to your old racquet or are you sticking with the bigger one?

RF: Yeah, that was like pushed aside in a way. I was just practicing all the time with the prototype I had. I played also Hamburg and Gstaad with it but because of the issues I had, I couldn’t even really focus on how was I feeling the ball. I was just trying to get through the matches, really. So, yeah, we’ll see how it goes. But so far I am happy with the racquet.

So you are using the bigger one?

RF: I am, yeah.

Not sure about media around the rest of the world but we’ve tried to retire you for three years. At age 32, what is the hardest part of this job as you’ve gotten older and what is the biggest motivator to stay in it?

RF: Well, the motivation is the passion, clearly. Because I think if the passion doesn’t overweigh all the rest, the end is extremely near. As nice as the travel is and playing matches and practicing and all these things, I think if the passion is not there, it just becomes so much harder and then you might be doing it for the wrong reasons. For me, there’s no question about that – that my passion is sky-high and that’s why I’m still doing it. I love what I’m doing and I feel very fortunate that I do have this opportunity day-in, day-out to do it. But clearly I’ve played a lot of matches. I’ve played for a very long time. I feel like I just have to do more in terms of getting ready today than I ever have. When I was younger, a teenager for instance, I would jump up and down for two minutes and then go, ‘OK, here we go.’ For a five-set match today, it would take a half an hour. It’s no problem but that can also really sort of wear you out eventually to do all these little things next to it, just to be actually somewhat ready. It’s like a car. You sort of need to warm it up. And for me, that’s a bit of a change but it sort of happens gradually, to be honest. I haven’t quite felt this huge effect of the new generation coming through yet but I have felt that the game has changed, so you can see that two ways. Is that fun that it changed or is it actually somewhat of a letdown that it has changed so much that it’s all baseline game now? So I just have to adjust to those new conditions over the years now because when I was coming up things were quite different still. But I see it more also as a positive, an opportunity for me to improve again as a player and adapt. That’s what you have got to keep on doing – you have to keep on improving and enjoy what you’re doing and then I think you’re on the right track really.

After Gstaad, did you take off some time immediately to let your back heal or is it a treatment issue?

RF: I got right into it the day after, really. I had a meeting that night, what I was going to do, because thankfully my back didn’t get worse throughout the match in Gstaad. What was it, one hour, just a serving contest with (Daniel) Brands? It wasn’t physically taxing but still, there might have been maybe a slight risk of getting it back to worse or maybe making it the way it was in Hamburg. So I didn’t do the extra time there. What I did was basically I just started to work in my back a lot and on my strength training. I just did that for many days in a row until I felt good enough to go on the tennis court. Basically I started working out on the following day already.

Is there one thing you’re focusing on now?

RF: Getting my game back together, really, and my body. So far so good. I’m motivated. I’m feeling better and I am entering Cincinnati with a good mind set. That’s, right now, it’s key. Now if I could win more matches, that would be good because I did win a title here, and that makes me think I can do something great here. As every other event, you always struggle in the first round.

You’ve won this tournament five times. It’s a tournament you circle on your calendar and is there anything about it that sets it apart from other Masters 1000 tournaments?

RF: Yeah, I mean I think every tournament around the world, maybe 250, 500, 1000 or Grand Slam – it doesn’t matter – has its own sort of feel for it. This one has a great history. I think it’s over 100, 125 years old, so you feel that this tournament has been around for a long time. Some players or some people might say, ‘Oof, it’s not got the big city next to it right away. You don’t see the skyline right as you look away from Center Court and stuff.’ But it doesn’t matter. I think what you find here is you find great fans, people who really enjoy this tournament. A lot of it is the volunteers and people who work here. I think they really wait for this tournament to come around. And clearly for us, we can leave and you sort of forget you played here because you look forward to let’s say New York or so forth. But I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I think that also shows in the matches and in the games I’ve been able to play successful. I like a quiet week like this to be quite honest. I used to like doing more crazy when I was younger. Everything had to be fun and non-stop all the time doing something but I also like it when it’s a bit slower. Here I can take more time for fans and practice and friends. You name it, whoever comes along. I always enjoy my time here in Cincinnati.

Is there any specific about this event – the surface or the balls or weather – that has allowed you to win five times?

RF: I’m not sure. Maybe it’s also the timing of the calendar. Who knows, maybe it gives me enough time to really feel comfortable on the hard courts again. I know it’s a very important week. I’ve also played equally great the weeks sort of before Paris – the Hamburg week, the Madrid week now. I usually always play very well there. OK, now it’s switched with Rome. But for some reason always a couple of weeks before Slams, I usually play well. No doubt that also the surface, I like it a bit faster maybe, even though most my success is on the slower hard courts because that’s just the way things are today. But I really like Center Court…I like the day and night sessions here. I don’t mind the heat anymore. I used to struggle in the heat when I was younger and really worked hard to get used to humidity and heat. And for me that’s no problem, so maybe that’s an advantage for me today as well. I’m happy in the surroundings here. I think it helps as well to be in a good mind set.

Date: 10th August 2013, Source: Cincinnati

Sampras on Federer’s racquet switch: Worth a try, but beware

Pete Sampras, who played with a Wilson Pro Staff racquet with a small head for his entire career, discusses Roger Federer’s switch to a Wilson racquet with a 98-square-inch head size. Federer, who also played much of his career with a Wilson Pro Staff (90-square-inch head), has been playing with a blacked-out prototype. He is scheduled to return in Cincinnati next week and is it is unclear whether he will stick with the prototype.

“Roger can play with a broomstick. He’s that good,” Sampras told reporters at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he played an exhibition against James Blake.

“I think a bigger racquet can help in certain areas, maybe on the high backhand. That’s the shot I feel like it’s helped me (Sampras is now playing with a larger head size). Maybe a little bit more pop on the serve. But it’s more racquet, it’s more power.

“Roger’s forehand is such his bread and butter and if he’s thinking twice about it, that’s not a good thing. I think it’s worth trying. He needs to win some tough matches. I don’t think he needs to panic and feel like he needs to change everything. He’s still a great player and always will be. Just to try something a few weeks here would be fine.”

Sampras added that he is curious to see how Federer will perform at the U.S. Open if he plays with the new racquet.

“It’s just mental, gets in your head. Look at [golfer Rory] McIlroy and his clubs. It takes one slight little thing to get you off kilter, and I just hope Roger just, if he sticks with this racquet, can win some tough matches. Once he does that, he will be fine.”

Date: 10th August 2013, Source: Tennis.com

5 Reasons Why Roger Federer Is The Best Tennis Player Of All Time

In sport there is always speculation about those individuals who have stood out even amongst the very best in their field. The competitive nature of sport leads to broken records, titles, rankings and generally sorting out the very “best” from the merely “one of the best”. Across all sports there are those legends whose achievements have left audiences awe bound and opponents broken, they break all the records and kindle the question, are they really the best ever?

In tennis there have been many greats, each achieving amazing feats and standing out as significantly better than the rest. Most tennis fans would agree that a list comprising these greats would include Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Laver and several other heroes of the game. There is one man however, still playing today, who has raised the question more than ever. This man of course is the Swiss maestro Roger Federer. So, is Roger Federer really the best player of all time?

Here we comprise a list of 5 reasons that suggest he is indeed the best of all time, considering achievement as well as personal qualities as a tennis professional.

5. Grand Slam Success

Arguably, the measure of any tennis player is their success in the major tournaments on the tennis circuit, the Grand Slams. Time and time again the reputation of a player transcends exponentially when they finally win a Grand Slam title. Often those without a slam at the top of the rankings are criticised for failing to produce their form when it matters most.

For Roger Federer this was never a problem, first winning a Grand Slam back in 2003 on his beloved centre court at Wimbledon. Since then he has gone on to break numerous records in the Grand Slams, winning an astonishing 17 titles overall. Grand Slam statistics alone argue his case as the greatest ever, not only has he won the most but also has reached the most finals, 24 (at least 5 times at each slam). In his prime Federer dominated at Wimbledon, the US open and to a slightly lesser extent the Australian open, finally achieving the career slam in 2009 when he won the French open.

His Grand Slam success is clearly unrivalled; in one stretch Roger only failed to reach the final once in 19 consecutive slams.  For me and many commentators and past players this is enough to prove that Federer is the best ever, but stats alone do not make a great tennis player. Read on to find out why Federer is the best for other reasons…

4. All Round Game

Roger Federer has been described as the most watchable tennis player. This view is well deserved, and it culminates from a combination of factors about his game that few if not no other player has displayed.

Firstly, he is technically flawless. Though at 32 his execution is slipping, in his years as World No.1 the perfection of his hitting was outstanding, conjuring fluid strokes with incredible plus 160 kph speed. There has never been a forehand quite like Federer’s inside out ripping baseline strike, and the one-handed backhand he uses was unusually varied and accurate.

Unlike other players, many of whom also have impressive baseline hitting, Federer is a fantastic full court player, utilising every inch of the court to dictate the game and play genius cat and mouse with his helpless opponent. This full court play displays the volleying ability of Roger, who angles and controls his net play to devastating effect. He also uses the serve and volley, scarce in the modern game. This is allowed by the Federer serve which is not only fast but very uniquely pin-point accurate.

To round up his almost perfect game, is the most standout visual aspect of the maestro’s masterpiece; his grace on court. Like no other, his movement is effortless, making transitions between offence and defence with ease. He reaches the ball as successfully, but far less taxingly than other great ‘chasers’ such as David Ferrer, resulting in the most ‘easy-on-the-eye’ style in tennis.

3. Mental Toughness

All great sports people must be mentally tough, as was forecast so clearly in last year’s London Olympics. It isn’t just about having the right attitude and confidence, but also about managing your thoughts effectively.

In his youth Roger was loud and emotional on court, a completely different image to the elegant and collected player of the last decade. He learned to control the frustration, upset and anger, channelling the emotion into determination and a steely confidence. This ability to focus and remain calm is unparalleled, few have Roger’s knack of saving championship point as if it’s the first point in a friendly knock about.

More recently the pure confidence has slipped, his expression less fixed his resolve less certain. But none can deny that for the most part Federer has been mentally stronger than any of his opponents, and easily matching the raw determination of players such as Lendl for example. Roger Federer has graced the tennis court with a deadly calm, intimidating players with nothing more than a slight nod as he once again out manoeuvres.

2. Genius

To be the best you cannot only possess the best execution or physical prowess, but also the best game plan. The domination of Roger Federer over the last decade can be summed up by watching just one rally; with apparent ease he dictates the play, making his opponent chase the ball with no option but to relentlessly defend the onslaught.  This is born out of a foresight into how a game will be played. Like chess Roger reads the moves perfectly, countering with a winner.

Roger speaks 7 languages; similarly his tennis contains huge variety. The ability to envision and then execute the right shot in each circumstance is something all players have, but Federer’s decision making is a step up. In his dominant reign 2003 -2007 the shot choices were impeccable, consistently the perfect shot to triumph point by point. Though his standard of play will decline from now on, his intelligence can never be questioned.

1. Consistency and Longetivity

The final reason why Roger Federer is possibly the best tennis player of all time is also perhaps the most important. Many incredible players have come and gone, outstanding sportsmen who have won the top titles. Roger though is unique, his time right at the top of men’s tennis has spanned for over a decade, still challenging for slam titles at 32. The longevity of his career is testament to his style of play and determination, rarely becoming injured and never taking significant time off. The long lasting nature of his influence in tennis has created a true legend who has been the face of the sport for years.

Consistency is also needed though, and it is even more impressive to consider just how long Roger has been producing world class tennis. With a total of 302 weeks at number 1, 237 of which were consecutive from 2004 to 2008, Roger Federer has been the best for the longest time ever. In the context of the modern day nature of competitive sport this is a huge achievement.

Although Roger Federer may now be losing his brilliance, his time at the top will forever be remembered by tennis fans as an era of quality and dominance like never before. With the best record of achievement and arguably the best overall game, Federer can strongly be considered as the best tennis player of all time.

Date: 9th August 2013, Source: WhatCulture